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Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000279458.49157.28
Letters

Did Hitler Have a Rhinoplasty?

Warren, Anne G. B.A.; Goldwyn, Robert M. M.D.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

Correspondence to Ms. Warren, Department of Surgery, Stoneman 9, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, Mass. 02215

Sir:

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Extensive literature exists on Adolph Hitler’s health, physical features (particularly those of his face),1 and their possible significance to him and the course of his life and of world history. It has recently come to our attention that Hitler may have altered his facial features and undergone cosmetic rhinoplasty while serving as Chancellor of Germany. As reported by Time Magazine in 1942,2 Frederick Oechsner, longtime United Press Central European manager, recounted in his biography of the German leader that Hitler had his nose “streamlined by a plastic surgeon,” a report that was also confirmed in an official press dispatch released by the SS.3 According to Oechsner,4 Hitler’s nose had been “a little bulbous at the end and fatty on the bridge,” and Hitler, after having been referred by a physician in Berlin, had his nasal shape corrected by a “well-known Munich plastic surgeon.”

We were wondering whether any of the Journal’s readers might have additional information pertaining to this claim by Oechsner or thoughts on the identity of the Munich plastic surgeon. We have examined multiple photographs of Hitler taken around the time of the alleged rhinoplasty (Fig. 1), but have been unable to determine conclusively a significant change in the appearance of his nose.

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
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We welcome any comments and can be reached via e-mail at awarren@bidmc.harvard.edu.

Anne G. Warren, B.A.

Robert M. Goldwyn, M.D.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Harvard Medical School

Boston, Mass.

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REFERENCES

1. Schmölders, C. Hitler’s Face: The Biography of an Image. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.

2. Inside Hitler. Time Magazine June 22, 1942.

3. Langer, W. C. The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report (Office of Strategic Services’ Hitler Source Book). New York: Basic Books, 1972.

4. Oechsner, F. This Is the Enemy. Boston: Little, Brown, 1942.

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Letters to the Editor, discussing material recently published in the Journal, are welcome. They will have the best chance of acceptance if they are received within 8 weeks of an article’s publication. Letters to the Editor may be published with a response from the authors of the article being discussed. Discussions beyond the initial letter and response will not be published. Letters submitted pertaining to published Discussions of articles will not be printed. Letters to the Editor are not usually peer reviewed, but the Journal may invite replies from the authors of the original publication. All Letters are published at the discretion of the Editor.

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©2007American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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